With the date of inauguration of the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on 5th August, let us take a look at the long history of the temple, permeated by conflicts at certain intervals.
Crux of the Matter
The Ceremony for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya would be held on 5th August, 2020 to initiate the construction of the temple by “the installation of a 40 kg silver brick as the foundation stone by the Prime Minister”.
Only 5 people are expected to be on stage including PM Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath to maintain social distancing. The Temple construction is expected to be done in “3 to 3.5 years”. The dimensions of the temple are expected as follows:
Width: 270- 280 feet
Height: 161 feet
Length: 280-300 feet
With such dimensions, it is expected to be the 3rd largest Hindu temple of the world after the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia and the Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu.
Soil and holy water from temples and rivers across India have reached the temple site as “blessings”, including contributions from the Sangam – the confluence of Ganga, Saraswati, and Yamuna rivers – and soil from Kamakhya temple (Assam), Char Dhams and several other places of worship.
Timeline Of Dispute
- 1528: Babri Mosque constructed in Ayodhya by Mir Baqi, the commander of Mughal emperor Babur. Hindus allege that Ram temple at the site was demolished to construct the mosque, and claim the place claimed as the place of birth of Lord Ram (Janmbhoomi).
- 1859: Fence to separate places of worship constructed by British, with the Inner court provided to Muslims and the Outer court provided to Hindus.
- 1885: Court rejected Mahant Raghubir Das’s plea to construct a temple on Ram chabootra.
- 1949: Idol of Lord Ram ‘resurfaces’, and the Government declares it a “disputed site” and locks up the premises.
- 1950: Plea filed by Gopal Singh Visharad to allow worship of idols installed at ‘Asthan Janmabhoomi’.
- 1959: Nirmohi Akhara, a denomination of Hindu religion worshipping Lord Ram, files suit to claim possession of the disputed land, and claims itself a “custodian” of Ram Janmbhoomi.
- 1961: The UP Central Sunni Waqf board files suit claiming possession of the mosque and disputed land, and demands the removal of Lord Ram idols from the Mosque.
- 1983: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) starts nationwide movement demanding construction of temple at the disputed site.
- 1986: Local court directs the gates to be opened and allows Hindus to worship inside the Mosque. The Babri Masjid Action Committee is set up by Muslims.
- 1989: Shilanyas ceremony performed by the VHP, where the first stone is placed in the plan of construction of the Ram temple.
- 1990: BJP leader LK Advani leads Rath Yatra (procession) from Somnath to Ayodhya to demand construction of the temple.
- 1992: The Babri Mosque is demolished by ‘Kar Sewaks’ comprising of VHP, Shiv Sena and BJP workers.
- 2002: Allahabad High Court begins hearings concerning the ownership of the disputed land.
- 2010: Allahabad HC directed a 3-way division of land between the Sunni Waqf board, Nirmohi Akhara, and Ram Lalla (infant form) represented by Hindu Mahasabha.
- 2011: The Supreme Court (SC) stays the Allahabad HC order.
- 2019: In August, the SC starts daily hearings after the mediation failed.
- November 2019: The SC orders the disputed 2.77-acre land to be given to a trust for the construction of Lord Ram temple and allots 5 acres of land for Mosque construction at a different site in Ayodhya.
- February 2020: The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust (Temple Trust) is announced for the construction of the temple.
- March 2020: First phase of construction begins, as idols of deities are shifted to temporary places where they would be kept till the construction of the temple is complete.
- May 2020: The Temple Trust claims the discovery of “a five-foot Shivlinga, seven pillars of black touchstone, six pillars of red sandstone, structures of flowers and broken idols of deities” at the Ram Janmabhoomi.
- The word “Ayodhya” is a regularly formed derivation of the Sanskrit verb yudh, the initial ‘a’ is the negative prefix; the whole, therefore, means “not to be fought”. This meaning is attested by the Atharvaveda, which uses it to refer to the unconquerable city of gods.
- Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Since around 1850, the Cambodian flag has featured a depiction of Angkor Wat in the center.
- Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra is a trust set up for the construction and management of Shri Ram temple in Ayodhya. It was created as per the verdict of the Supreme Court of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the formation of the trust in the Lok Sabha on 5 February 2020. The trust is led by Mahant Nrityagopal Das.
- Livemint – Ayodhya verdict: A timeline of decades old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute
- Guwahati Plus – Sacred Soil of Kamakhya Temple taken for Construction of Ram Mandir
- The New Indian Express – 280-feet wide, 300-feet long and 161-feet tall: Ayodhya Ram temple complex to be world’s third-largest Hindu shrine
- The New Indian Express – Remains of ancient temples, Shivlinga, idols found at Ayodhya temple site
- Times Now – Lord Ram’s return from ‘exile’ to be celebrated like Diwali in Ayodhya on August 5